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6 Tips for Online Retailers this Back to School Season

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StoreAutomator Team

With Prime Day behind us and the days slowly beginning to shorten, parents and children are preparing for the next big shopping event:  back to school season. 

 

Last year, parents spent an average of $498 solely on school-related expenses, which experts expect to rise this year due to inflation. Every year, ecommerce provides an increasingly more significant portion of that total. This window may be a golden opportunity for your business as an online retailer. Today, we discuss some of the critical things you can do right now to prepare for the flood of back-to-school shopping your site will soon see. 

 

1. Prioritize Your Products


Your store may sell a wide variety of products that meet the needs of many customers. Now is a great time to take stock of everything you sell and decide which products you should give special attention to for the next few weeks. 

 

Shopping trends remain relatively consistent year after year during the back-to-school shopping window. School supplies and clothing take a much-anticipated leap above other consumer goods sectors during this period. In an era increasingly reliant on Internet access for standard education, school shopping these days also involves significant investment in computer and technological resources.

 

Take time to identify which products fall into the most popular back-to-school categories and give them a place of honor on your site until school is in full swing. If you don’t think that anything you sell neatly fits these labels, focus instead on products that you believe would be beneficial to market to students. Consider placing these more prominently on your storefront’s landing page to catch the eyes of more shoppers prepping for the academic year. 

 

2. Pick Your Promotions


Once you know what you particularly want to sell this quarter, you can answer the all-important question of how. This deliberation will look different for every seller, but you must consider where your products are sold and when, as with any promotion. The ordeal can become complicated when you utilize multi-channel ecommerce to sell your products. 

 

For instance, you may wish to run a sale on your top-of-the-line, military-grade gel pens on Amazon starting mid-July but want to hold off on such a move at your local Walmart until August. Pick promotions that will appeal to buyers in regions across the country that may not start the school year simultaneously but are all looking for a good deal.

 

3. Mobilize Your Merchandise


Now that you have identified your most valuable products for the quarter and how you want to sell them, this is an excellent opportunity to double-check your website and third-party storefronts for easy access. Chances are, as an ecommerce seller, you're already confident that your products look nice and are easy to purchase via a standard computer or laptop. But when was the last time you viewed your storefront from your smartphone?

 

We have briefly discussed online sales' prominence during the back-to-school season. It's also important to add mobile purchases to the conversation. Sales made from mobile devices have generated trillions of revenue in previous years. Mobile sales are projected to increase as more consumers become familiar with mobile payments.

 

With this in mind, double-check that your selling platforms are mobile-friendly and that your product images fit nicely on the standard smartphone display. You never know how many sales you could land by fixing a margin here and there!

 

4. Strategize Your Social Media


A mobile-friendly landing page is good, but it serves no purpose unless mobile shoppers land on it. It’s time to take a look at your social media marketing.

 

No matter what platforms you utilize, back-to-school shoppers on these sites will be looking for products that are used by people that look like them — namely, parents and students. Here, visualization is critical. It may be wise to feature content showing your products sitting or used in the classroom and office spaces. Be sure to get the word out about your promotions and confirm that all links in your bios are valid and error-free.

 

If you have access to your back-end data (and if you don’t, get it), check which demographics most often interact with your social media pages and adjust your strategy accordingly. A video about a TikTok trend may resonate with younger audiences more clearly than your latest Facebook post.

 

If you sell on social media-based platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, take a moment to ensure that your digital storefronts are in tip-top shape. Shoppers who find you on social media may look here first instead of on your main website. Every first impression matters, so make sure you maintain brand consistency across all channels. 

 

5. Secure Your Supply Chain


As a seller who operates outside the scope of a brick-and-mortar store, you’ve likely already run into your fair share of supply chain issues. With no end in sight to out-of-stocks, backorders, and delays, you must take the time to audit your inventory as it stands now. 

 

If it looks like a supply backlog will push back your standard delivery window on certain products, update this on your selling pages. It's much better to promote a less than optimal (but honest) timeline to your customers than to ignore these issues and end up with negative reviews.

 

6. Fix Up the Feedback


Speaking of reviews, glance over the feedback sections of your storefront. These will give you a reasonable estimate of what will be received well and what may fall by the wayside. It never hurts to get that slight confidence boost from a glowing five stars, and you may be able to learn something from an interaction that was received as a positive experience. 

 

Pay attention to the negative reviews that pop up. Rather than scramble to hide them, respond to the feedback. Did you complete a return? Send a replacement for a broken product? Say so! Prior customers will appreciate the attention to detail, and future customers can view this as a sign of good faith that you are a communicative and responsive seller. 

 

Summary

 

Multi-channel marketing and ecommerce can get complicated fast, no matter the time of year. 

 

When you’re ready to take control of your channels and listings, let StoreAutomator help you take the wheel.  Our platform allows you to manage your channels, listings, product catalog, order management, and inventory, all from a single dashboard. Our analytics provide advice on where to go from here. Request a live demo today to see how Store Automator can help you achieve your sales goals this quarter and every quarter.





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